NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Bistatic Radar Observations of the Lunar Surface

NSSDCA ID: 1967-070A-08

Mission Name: Explorer 35
Principal Investigator:Dr. A. M. Peterson


The purpose of this experiment was to study the electromagnetic reflective properties of the lunar surface. The 136.10-Hz (2.2 m) telemetry transmissions from the spacecraft were scattered from the lunar surface and then recorded by use of the 150-ft Stanford dish antenna. The reflected signal intensity depended upon the lunar reflectivity, the spacecraft altitude above the lunar surface, and the mean curvature of the moon. The returned signal bandwidth was proportional to RMS lunar surface slopes. Occultation phenomena permitted a determination of the scattering properties of the lunar limb. The dielectric constant of the lunar subsurface in the scattering region below a depth of about 25 cm was then determined from a profile of reflectivity values vs the angle of incidence on the moon. The mean lunar slope over each area from which signals were reflected has also been inferred. The observations were located within about 10 degrees of the lunar equator. Experiment operation was normal as of March 1971. Details of data reduction and analysis are contained in Tyler, 'Stanford Telemetry Monitoring Experiment on Lunar Explorer 35.'

Alternate Names

  • Bistatic Radar Observations of the Lunar Surface
  • Explorer35/BistaticRadarObservationsoftheLunarSurface


    Additional Information

    Questions and comments about this experiment can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



    NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
    Prof. G. Leonard TylerOther InvestigatorStanford
    Dr. A. M. PetersonPrincipal InvestigatorStanford University
    [] NASA Logo -